It is likely that few people heading for divorce in Pennsylvania want the process to be one of contention and struggle. After all, if the marriage is coming to an end, it is possible the couple has already had enough struggle. A litigated divorce is not only expensive, but in some cases, it actually damages what is left of the couple’s relationship, which could be detrimental if the couple has children. For this reason, many couples choose collaborative divorce.
Collaborative law allows couples to come to a more peaceful end to their marriages. It does not require that both spouses be in agreement on every issue, but it does mean that both spouses must be willing to negotiate toward agreement. For their own protection, each spouse hires an attorney with whom they meet privately before collaboration begins. This meeting is to outline the spouse’s goals and limits. After this, negotiations begin in the presence of both spouses and their legal counsel.
Other professionals may be invited to join, such as accountants or experts in child custody. These neutral parties provide information to aid in decision-making. A mediator may also join the process for issues the couple cannot resolve. The goal is to reach satisfying agreements on all the main issues since reaching an impasse and heading to court means starting over with new attorneys.
The less formal setting of collaborative divorce is one attractive factor for some Pennsylvania couples. Many find it is conducive to more open, honest sharing, which may even provide some healing for the couple. When seeking answers about their options when facing a divorce, many turn a lawyer who has experience in alternative dispute resolution methods.